We’re excited to have Lauren Brimley from Eating Whole with us today to share some clever ideas that bring excitement into our toddlers meals (and our own!) with real foods. Lauren just completed her first half marathon, and is on an everyday quest to fix nutritious and healthy meals for her family. We’re loving every recipe she’s sharing over on her blog and instagram account @eating_whole.
Hello! My name is Lauren, and I run a health and fitness instagram and blog, that promotes clean eating and living an active lifestyle. I am passionate about living a healthy life, and it’s so important to me to feed my daughter healthy, nutritious foods as well.
Family photos by Lang Photographers
I have put together some tips and a few recipes to help you introduce healthy foods to your toddler. They are all tried and true foods that my daughter loves to eat. I hope they can be of some help to all of you.
Above is a veggie frittata that I make at least twice a week for breakfast. It’s a great way to sneak in veggies, and when you cut it out with a cute cookie cutter, it makes eating for for the kids! My daughter loves when I cut the food into fun shapes.
2 eggs + tablespoon of water
1/2 cup broccoli chopped fine
1/2 cup of chopped spinach
1 roma tomato, diced
1 teaspoon oil
dash of salt and pepper
sprinkling of cheese
In a pan on medium-high heat, saute broccoli in oil until it begins to soften, then add in spinach, salt and pepper and continue to saute until wilted. Whisk 2 eggs with the water, and then pour into the pan, covering the veggies completely, then sprinkle the diced tomatoes on top. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and then cover for a few minutes. When done, the top should be spongey, and no longer liquidy. Sprinkle cheese on top, and let cool a bit before cutting with a cookie cutter, or slicing.
One of my favorite thing to do is take basic foods, and turn them into a fun animal shape. This bear toast is one of the most simple ways, and it always makes me daughter excited. Spread almond butter, or another type of nut butter, on top of multigrain toast, and then slice a few pieces of banana to make the ears, and nose. Use blueberries for the eyes, and to add to the ears. And it’s done!
Like I said, I love to sneak veggies into my daughter’s meal, because most of the time she is pretty picky when it comes to green veggies! One of my favorite ways to sneak in spinach is with this chicken and spinach flatbread melt. I cut it into pieces, and then serve it with some red pepper hummus for her to dip, and some fruit.
Chicken and Spinach Flatbread Melt
1 whole grain pita
1/2 cup diced chicken breast
1/2 cup spinach, chopped fine
1/4 cup cheese, or enough to sprinkle on top
Line a baking sheet with foil, and set the oven to broil. Chop your spinach, and then evenly distribute all over the pita. Lay the chicken on top of that, and then sprinkle with enough cheese to cover. Broil until it starts to brown and gets bubbly. Serve with hummus for a nice bit of protein, and cubed avocado for a bit of healthy fat.
Something I do every day is make a “baby sampler platter”. It’s the absolute best way for me to get my little one to eat a nice variety of foods. By giving her a few different things, it lets her choose what she wants to eat next, and gives her some control. Also, she gets a bit of sweet, salty, soft, chewy, etc. Above is an example of one of her typical sampler platters. I like to have a vast array of colors (use bright colors from nature! not artificial colors), at least one fat, at least one protein, a veggie, and a fruit. She has spinach and cheese tortellini, black beans, strawberries, avocado and cubed chicken breast. We love our sampler platters!
We try to stay away from refined sugars in our home, so I love to make these delicious, vegan cookies! People are always skeptical when they hear what is in the cookies, but I promise you, they are AMAZING and taste like a regular chocolate chip cookie. We make them weekly in our home. Also, if you want to eat the cookie dough, it’s okay because it’s egg free, and guilt free…WIN!
Healthy Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/4 cup rinsed chickpeas
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey (or pure maple)
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut
1/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of sea salt
dark chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350. Rinse your chickpeas and drain. In a food processor, pulse together the chickpeas, almond butter, honey, coconut, oats, baking powder and salt until it gets to a smooth, cookie dough consistency. Stir in as many chocolate chips as you want, by hand. Wet your hands with water, and form into balls, place onto baking sheet, and flatten a bit to form the shape of a cookie. You should be able to make 12 medium sized cookies. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes!
Thank you for letting me share some tips with you!